America’s Unwritten Constitution

An introduction to basic techniques of constitutional interpretation.

About The Course

"America's Unwritten Constitution," (AUC) is the second of two new stand-alone courses, from Professor Ahkil Amar. The first course, "America's Written Constitution," (AWC) was completed last month. These courses were offered together in January 2014 under the name "Constitutional Law," however, feedback from our students suggested the learning experience would be more valuable and effective if we split the course into two distinct offerings.

In AWC, students were introduced to one of the most important texts in human history -- the United States Constitution. Professor Amar guided his class through the Document's text Article by Article, Amendment by Amendment. This is certainly a good starting point for understanding the Constitution, but in order to fully appreciate it, we must go deeper...

AUC, takes the next step, going beyond the text of the Constitution to ask questions like: What are the ground rules for proper constitutional interpretation? Who decides what the text means? How does the written constitution interact with unwritten sources of constitutional authority, such as judicial decisions, presidential proclamations, landmark statutes, and widespread popular understands?

Students who complete this course will have the constitutional knowledge necessary to formulate their own opinions on the ever-present constitutional debates impacting U.S. society. 

Please join us this January, as we delve into America's Unwritten Constitution.

***Please note that AWC is not a prerequisite for this course. It is also worth mentioning that all the video lectures from AWC will be available for viewing throughout the running of AUC, should anyone want to refresh their memory of the Constitution's text.***

Frequently Asked Questions

This course only offers a Verified Certificate. It will not offer the Statement of Accomplishment. You can start verifying your work for free and pay anytime before the final week of the course. Coursera Financial Aid is also available for learners with limited economic means.